Oak ever used in guitars?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by imonabuss, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. imonabuss

    imonabuss Supporting Member

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    It seems like I have never seen oak used in any way on guitars, certainly not from major manufacturers and not even any small custom luthiers. I could see why maybe it is too dense and heavy for a main body, but doesn't it work when used as a thin cap to change tone? Or is it simply the ultimate toneless wood?
     
  2. Aardvark

    Aardvark Silver Supporting Member

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    Brian May's Red Special has an oak fingerboard and a partially oak body.
     
  3. Michael T

    Michael T Member

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    THe fingerboard on the original red special isnt oak
     
  4. RAM

    RAM Member

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    I made a bass with an oak body when I was 16. It was unique but I never though of using it again because it was so heavy.
    The great thing about being a guitar maker is that creativity is always allowed!
    The body could be chambered to lessen the weight or you could just make the top Oak and the main body a lighter wood. Quartered oak can have great character.

    The RS's original fretboard was oak painted black. Some people making an exact copy still use oak for the f.b.
    http://english.redspecialparts.com/history.htm

    RAM
     
  5. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    Are you sure about that Michael? Can you let us know what it is.

    Thanks,
    Ron
     
  6. John Mayes

    John Mayes Member

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    Oak was commonly used on small body parlor guitars for years. Still is to some degree. I've played a old parlor with white oak on the back and sides and it was a VERY nice sounding guitar. Oak gets a bad rap because it's so common.
     
  7. JBG

    JBG Member

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    I made an oak body about 20 years ago and it was bright and sustained for DAYS! It was a strat-ish body but cut away quite a bit... not too heavy. I used an old Chandler 22 fret maple neck for it. I liked it. The pores are quite large & a pain to fill. I thought about building another just for sh*ts & giggles.
     
  8. snarkle

    snarkle Member

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    Ask Sam Evans at Cardinal...he's been using it for necks.
     
  9. dksouthpaw

    dksouthpaw Member

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    someone was telling me when the Taylor factory switched to their mad crazy CNC machines that like NASA uses or something, the first guitar they made was of pallete grade out and it sounded just as good as any other Taylor guitar.
     
  10. Glenn Brown

    Glenn Brown Member

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    Neal Moser has used white oak for the neck on at least one custom build.
     
  11. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Supporting Member

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    I always told people I was a rocket scientist. Now it's not BS. :dude

    Yeah that was the pallet guitar. I think they made a few of them


    FWIW Lentz has a killer piece of korina over at the shop. I asked him why there was a nail hole in it and he told me it was a motorcycle pallet at one time.
     
  12. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    I say leave the oak for hardwood floors where it excels.
     
  13. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Member

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    I've used oak with very nice results. One has to be choosy, but there is some killer oak out there if you take the time to look for it.
     
  14. Michael T

    Michael T Member

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    Neck and body are oak. I seem to recall reading that the fingerboard is made of ebony or something that B rian and his dad took from a mantle.
     
  15. JohnnyK

    JohnnyK Member

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  16. cram

    cram Member

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    heh... I can see the first reply in the emporium being:

    "What's the weight on this one??"
     
  17. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    2nd reply will be, "White oak, red oak, or poison oak?"
     
  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    I've seen a few upright basses with oak necks, but mostly entry-level models. The problems with oaks are the weight and the fact that it is not a very stable wood. This parameter would be of paramount importance especially for a neck, IMHO.
     
  19. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    It's a pain to work with, that's why. It splits instead of breaking clean, and you'd probably have to put a very thick finish on it because the grain is so porous. It doesn't seem to me like it's any heavier than other hardwoods, though. Hickory and wenge are a different story.
     
  20. studiodunn

    studiodunn Member

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